Transparency Thailand Newsletter, July 2015

Category: E-newsletter
Published on Wednesday, 05 August 2015 07:04
Written by prakob
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Looking back: Anti-corruption campaign best practices in the recent months

Switzerland: Switzerland returned to Nigeria $ 380 million, money linked to the former president General Sani Abacha. The money had been confiscated since 2006 under agreement between the Abacha family and the government of Nigeria, an agreement in which the government dropped its case against Gen. Abacha’s son Abba Abacha.  The money had been confiscated on the basis that Abacha family was a criminal organization.  Switzerland had previously returned $700 million to Nigeria, money Abacha family was holding in Swiss accounts. The return of the money will be supervised by World Bank.

Italy: Pressure mounted on Infrastructure and Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi to resign over corruption allegations in which the minister was accused of giving a Job to his son.  Even though Lupi had not been charged, and while there is no legal obligation for the minister to resign over such matters, political pressure mounted because 3 months earlier, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won elections on the promise to eradicate corruption.

USA: Oxfam America went to court seeking court order to have Securities Exchange Commission implement transparency law which was passed by Congress five years ago and was supposed to be implemented within 270 days. Oxfam said that the delay in implementation allowed secrecy under which international mining companies continued to bribe foreign governments and exploit mineral extraction. As a result, developing countries were losing about $ 1 trillion every year.

Chile:Chilean President Michelle Bachelet asked all her cabinet ministers to submit their resignations, and she would decide who was going to stay and who was going to leave in the 72 hours time.  Bachelet’s government was facing low approval in the country over a series of corruption scandals.

Malawi:Gen Henry Odillo and his former deputy, Lt Col Clement Kafuwa, were accused of arranging a contract to supply military equipment which was never delivered. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested and detained them as part of investigations into government corruption which was known as "cashgate". An investigation had found that the army paid $4.4m (£2.8m) for the equipment that was not supplied.  Malawi largely relies on foreign aid to finance its public expenditure.  Earlier in the year, donors suspended about &150 million over the cashgate scam. 

Romania: Prosecutors in Romania indicted Prime Minister Ponta fortax evasion, money laundering, conflict of interest and making false statements while he was working as a lawyer in 2007 and 2008. Ponta was a lawyer and politician at the time he committed the crimes. His assets were also been frozen.

South Korea: Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo offered to resign over a bribery scandal. Lee had been dogged by allegations of bribery after a local business tycoon, sung Wan-jong, killed himself amid a corruption investigation and left behind a list of high-ranking politicians he had bribed, including Lee. Lee was alleged to have accepted 30 million won (US$27,785) in cash in 2013.

Germany: Deutsche Bank was fined $2.5 billion over rate rigging.  The fine followed a seven year investigation in which the Bank, Germany’s largest lender was accused of obstructing regulators and rigging rates. The bank was also ordered to sack seven of its top employees.

Guatemala: About 5,000 protestors took to the streets in Guatemala asking president Otto Perez to resign over corruption. President Perez had had earlier gone to the constitutional court seeking immunity from prosecution, but then the court rejected the appeal.  The Congressional Committee had recommended that Presidential immunity against the President be lifted in order to allow for investigation

Tanzania: The court in Tanzania sentenced two Ex-ministers to jail for corruption. The two will serve a 3 year jail term.  The former ministers Basil Mramba (finance) and Daniel Yona (Energy and Minerals) were accused of abusing their authority in 2002 when they were in government for the ruling CCM party.  They among other things offered illegal tax exemptions and provided arbitrary in government contract awarding process.

China: Former Nanjing city mayor, Ji Jianye was jailed for 15 years over corruption. Nanjing was found guilty of taking $2.37 million in bribes from 1999 to 2012. Authorities also confiscated property worth $420,000 from the former mayor. Nanjing was nicknamed “Bulldozer Ji” for relentless efforts he made to promote construction projects. This is one of the recent high profile case under president Xi Jinping's regime.

Global: World Bank demanded that anonymous companies should not to be given contracts in projects funded by the Bank. A key player in development finance with a $42 billion portfolio, the move would put the World Bank in the forefront of G20 proposals to unmask beneficial owners of shell companies, which often are used to hide illicit funds from crime and corruption.

Israel: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to 8 months in jail for accepting more than $150,000 from a US tycoon while holding a ministerial office. Olmert was tried in 2012 and was acquitted, but his case came up later when his former assistant gave evidence showing that Olmert had bribed her not to testify against him in the 2012 trial.

Brazil: Prosecutors in Brazil sought US assistance in Petrobas scandal. The Petrobras case involves hundreds of millions in kickbacks paid by Brazil's biggest construction and engineering firms to former politically appointed Petrobras executives. In return, they won lucrative construction contracts, which often ballooned far beyond original budget estimates.

Senegal: Son of former president Abdoulaye Wade, Karim Wade was jailed for corruption. Wade who also served as minister in the previous regime was sentenced to serve a six year jail term for enriching self with public money. Wade also ordered to pay a fine worth 210 million Euros ($230 million) while government was ordered to confiscate his property
















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